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New Rocky Mountain High for Outdoor Biz

By bob mcgee– july 10, 2017
Denver is the now the home of future Outdoor Retailer trade shows for the next five years.

The outdoor industry made its partnership with the state of Colorado and divorce from nearby Utah after 20 years official last week. Denver is the now the home of future Outdoor Retailer trade shows, including the Outdoor Retailer +Snow Show, next slated for January 25-28, 2018, for the next five years. The summer show is shifting to late July from early August and a Winter Market Show (next November 8-11, 2018) will largely have a soft goods focus. Future show dates will be announced over the next month.  

While the partnership represents an estimated $110 million annual impact for the Mile-High City, Colorado public officials and outdoor executives told the Denver Post that the deal represents much more to the Golden State and the industry as a whole. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called the outdoors—from parks to wildlife areas and the Emerald Exposition-sponsored trade shows—“part of the defining characteristic of Colorado.”  

Others suggested the industry’s stronger ties to Colorado will spark further political, social and cultural support for public lands, environmental health and outdoor recreation industry in a state that already spends an estimated $28 billion annually on outdoor recreation.  

“We recognize the value of the outdoor recreation industry not just for the economy but also as a platform for conservation, stewardship, economic development, health and wellness,” commented Luis Benitez, who leads Colorado’s office for outdoor recreation.  

Rich Hill, president of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, said OR and Grassroots Connect (another outdoor event) “will deliver the most effective and efficient nine days of our specialty-retail buying cycle.”  

Denver, which has hosted the SIA’s standalone Snow Show since 2010, beat out a number of unspecified cities for the hosting rights to Outdoor Retailer and combo Outdoor+Snow event after an estimated 18 months of negotiations. The industry’s exodus from the Beehive State was not without controversy. Members of the outdoor industry squawked when the Utah politicians continued a push for a downsizing of the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument.

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